War in Ukraine. Terrorists bombing in Afghanistan. Civil war in Myanmar. Climate change that has resulted in rising temperatures and sea levels, and melting glaciers, earthquakes in Indonesia, storms devastating the Philippines and now we have the Covid-19 virus that has infected millions and killed many worldwide. These are but just some of the troubles, turmoil, diseases and natural disasters in the world that have caused hurt, pain and death to human beings, giving rise to a sense of loss and hopelessness in human life. Some may even question the presence (or absence) of God.
What is happening? Is this the end times, some may even ask?
Wait a minute — isn’t that already told to us in Luke 21:9-11 where Jesus said there would be wars and uprisings? He told his disciples: “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”
Yes, we are living in unprecedented times! The Covid-19 virus has brought the world and its scientific community to their knees. Countries are still struggling to cope with the disease. Just when we think the number of infections has come down, another variant would appear to bring about another wave of infections. Whatever strategy that one may come up with, we know that this virus is here to stay. So are wars, natural disasters, pain and hurts.
Along with the pandemic came mental stress that has affected more people than we think. Many have given up hope and can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. They are lost and wonder how they can get out of this tunnel of darkness.
What can the Church do in the midst of all that is happening in the world?
Now is the time for the Church to step up. This is the time for us to offer the hope found in Jesus Christ. The gospel message is much needed for those who have lost all hope. While the river may dry up and the mountain eroded away, the love of God has never changed. While it is right to offer humanitarian aid of food, clothing and medical care to those in need, it is even more important to offer them the eternal hope of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Is this the time for us to recall all our missionaries away from disaster zones?
Is this the time for us to stay in comfortable Singapore and wait for all these disasters to go away before sending out the missionaries? What is God calling the Church to do? If our approach is to wait until the world is safe before sending out His messengers, would that mean that God’s mission has taken a pause amidst these disasters — at a time when God is most needed?
Jesus came when the world was not at its most peaceful time. He came to heal the broken-hearted. He came because the sick needed a doctor. He came to mend a broken world. He came to rescue the sinners (Matthew 9:12-13).
This is not the time to stop sending out missionaries!
On the contrary, this is the time that the world needs the messengers of God to tell them that their hope is to be found in Jesus. In the midst of all the turmoil and brokenness, the world needs Jesus. If peace is to be found in the world, then people need to know Jesus and follow His Way and be saved. But how can they call on the One they have not believed? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone telling them? And how can anyone tell unless they are sent? (Romans 10:13-15)
God wants those beautiful feet who bring good news to the unreached. The Good News of Jesus Christ is for all whom He has created.
The Joshua Project reported, in their website Joshuaproject.net, that there are 17,432 people groups in the world. Of these, 42.5 percent or 7,416 groups have not heard of the gospel. In absolute numbers, that would be 3.29 billion unreached people who need to know that their eternal hope lies in Jesus. Most of these unreached people groups happen to be sited in Asia.
Indeed, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37). This is the time for the Church, Wesley Methodist Church included, to rise up and ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers (missionaries) into His harvest field (Matthew 9:38).
Being part of God’s Missio Dei is an expression of our discipleship. When we partner God in His Mission, we are following the footsteps of Jesus. God sent His Son to give us the Good News. Jesus declared in Acts 1:8 that His disciples are to be His witnesses and share the Good News in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. If we are disciples of Jesus, we must express our discipleship by becoming His witnesses to the ends of the earth. We need to intentionally obey Jesus’ final instruction to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19).
And to do so, NOW!
Will You Take This Next Step?
Here in Wesley Methodist Church, Missions Committee has many opportunities to facilitate your partnership in God’s mission. We have various platforms and processes that can help you to discern, clarify, confirm and support your calling, whether it is to become a vocational missionary, a missioner, missionary intern, short-term missionary, or simply to go on short missions trips. If you sense God calling you to be a tentmaker to bring the gospel overseas by using your gifts and skills in the marketplace, do connect with us.
If you want to take a gap year after your studies to explore mission work, we have something for you too. Whatever it is, talk to us. We are here to support you. All we need is your willingness to answer God’s calling.
Take this Next Step. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org